Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Constructive Criticism - Podcasts, eClips, Hybrid Workshops

Helping Colleagues Improve Podcasts, eClips, and Brief Hybrid Workshops

Guidelines for:
1. Author/originator who is going to ask someone else for constructive feedback
2. Someone who has been asked to give helpful feedback

Google Document - where we're building lists for guidelines (send email to star@tltgroup.org if you would like to be added as a "collaborator" so you can edit; otherwise, if you wish to add a comment, do so at the bottom of this blog posting)
Web Page - for same topic

Thoughtful comment from Cindy Russell, UTHSC (visit her valuable blog, web pages!):

Some of what I started thinking about as I looked at the above (comprehensive, certainly) is that beauty/evaluation is in the eye of the beholder. Too many words for some are not enough for others. Evaluators are crucial to select correctly - but evaluators can't be all like the developer of the clip. If they are, then the thoughts may be too similar and there won't be sufficient diversity in the evaluative comments. I wonder if part of what I'm struggling with is how many different versions/variations on the delivery of material we need. Not the difference between a YouTube and a Google video. But the difference between a video, a text page (with and without screenshots), audio only, a website with additional links, etc... There will always be "power" users who just need a bullet-pointed list of items and they're good to go. There will always be some folks who need the very complete version - and still want more. I struggled with this when I created the Audioclips site (http://technology-escapades.net/?q=node/22). And I still think I need to do something different with the content.

One of the things that I also struggle with is the narrative overload of a lot of what we do. It's a real challenge. I think it can be a turnoff for some people as they may think "if it takes that many words to say it, then it's too complex for me." While I'd never want to prevent anyone from entering any portion of a site that they wanted to explore, sometimes I think it can be overwhelming to people and then they stop instead of doing something more/different. Solutions????? -CynthiaKRussell 6/9/07 8:24 AM


  1. I think there may be another category and/or consideration here. As all of the media in question are likely web-based (or at least web-near), it is worthy of thinking about them as potential entry points and building bulleted, text and reference materials as linkable alternatives and references for various audiences. Then the media becomes the core message (assuming a stand-alone, basic approach) that also provides links (inside and/or nearby) to: the short bulleted, quick-start elemental version; the longer step-by-step screenshots; and the deeper references (that you referenced and/or that one could reference to build towards SoTL work). And no, these would not need to be built at the same time, but if conceptually and practically identified initially, this could inform the design of the core media and they could be built "towards" and added to over time. This might mean thinking about this current challenge from a broader perspective (again over time) that would identify which audience level the media is addressing and at which level these guidelines are meant for. In the meantime, it may mean adding a new category (Layers? Levels? Additional Views? Other Resources) and asking some additional questions: Which level audience does this best address? What content/examples might best be moved to another level/resource? If this works as an idea and useful addition to the discussion, I invite everyone to add and adjust questions, category titles and concept (I am personallly dissatisfied with my early morning titling and questioning - but I think the concept is a worthy addition to this dialogue).
    - Bonnie Mullinix, CTEL, Furman University

  2. Anonymous12:08 PM

    Forgive me if some of this is repeating something already said. I have not yet taken a look at the Google document.

    Regarding asking someone to evaluate your material: All of the questions posted were good. I recommend including them all in a Flashlight 1.0 survey that someone could have open at the same time as the page they are critiquing.

    If only a few of the questions are to be used, then copy and paste the print version of the survey into Word. The Word document could then have certain questions highlighted, or be edited in whatever way was needed, then sent electronically to the reviewer.

    Regarding building layers to meet various levels of users: perhaps we first need to determine what is meant by "levels"? Are we speaking of usage level (quick peek, in-depth reading, etc), educational level (8th grade vs college), or are we really referring to learning styles?

    Levels as referring to depth of usage: perhaps we need some standardized structure, similar to what print books have: the equivalent of front cover/back cover/inside cover blurbs, Table Of Contents, etc. that users can access to see if they want to go deeper. Some of this is already in place, of course.

    Levels as referring to educational levels: I'm assuming that this is not particularly the issue since most of us are involved with higher education. It could be, however, depending on the program being served.

    What I got out of Bonnie's 7:19am posting was a concern for various learning styles and how they interact. The web holds great possibilities for meeting the needs of different learning styles: text for those who learn best via reading/word play, audio and video for those who learn best via listening, and perhaps even some interactive material requiring the use of gamer joysticks or other kinesthetic access for those who learn best kinesthetically. I'd be interested in hearing from others who have used blogs, podcasts, etc. with this is mind.


What do you think?